Cyclone Yaas comes less than ten days after Cyclone Tauktae hit the western coastal states Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat
A low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression that will cross the West Bengal and Odisha coasts on 26 May as a “very severe cyclonic storm”, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday.
The depression is expected to intensify into a cyclonic storm, “Yaas”, by Monday, it added.
Meteorologist Akshay Deoras tweeted that Cyclone Yaas is the second ‘severe cyclonic storm’ to have formed close to the Odisha and West Bengal coasts in the month of May since 1980.
Since tropical cyclones generally form further to the south over the Bay of Bengal, #CycloneYaas will become the most intense tropical cyclone that formed so close to #Odisha & #WestBengal coasts in the month of May since 1980 & made landfall over these regions. https://t.co/hmbXJ2cLgM
— Akshay Deoras (@akshaydeoras) May 23, 2021
Yaas comes fresh off the heels of Cyclone Tauktae, which slammed into the coast of western India.
Where does it gets its name?
Cyclone Yaas has been named by Oman under the cyclone naming guidelines by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Yaas refers to a tree that has a good fragrance and in English the word is similar to Jasmine.
Places likely to be affected
The IMD on Saturday predicted that the West Bengal and Odisha are likely to receive ‘heavy to very heavy’ rainfall on 26 and 27 May.
and reach north Bay of Bengal near West Bengal and adjoining north Odisha & Bangladesh coasts around 26th May morning. It is very likely to cross West Bengal and adjoining north Odisha & Bangladesh coasts around evening of 26th May, 2021. Under the influence of the above system:
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 23, 2021
The Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha has put four districts — Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore — on high alert in anticipation of Yaas. The district administrations have been instructed to implement a “fool-proof” evacuation process so that zero deaths are ensured, The Hindu reported.
Additionally, NDTV quoted an IMD official in Bhubaneshwar as saying that the state’s Mayurbhanj and Cuttack districts are also among the districts that are likely to be worst affected.
The IMD is predicting that wind speeds may go up to 155 kilometres per hour on 26 May, when the storm is likely to cross Odisha’s coast, The Hindu report added.
“The sea has already become turbulent as wind with speed between 40-50 kilometres per hour was blowing over sea. The wind speed will gain momentum gradually. All shipping and fishing operations would be suspended from 25 May.
Four districts Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore are likely to be impacted most by Yaas. Respective district administrations have been asked to make evacuation process foolproof and try to ensure zero casualty, as per PTI.
The Odisha government has asked the Centre for 32 teams of the National Disaster Response Force to aid in absorbing the impact of the storm. The state has also deployed 66 teams of the state Disaster Rapid Action Force, reports said.
NDRF, DG, SN Pradhan says “IMD has put #CycloneYaas under very severe cyclone category. NDRF has committed a total of 75 teams for the rescue operation. Out of 75 teams, 59 will be deployed on ground and 16 will be placed on standby”.@NDRFHQ
(Pic Credit: ANI) pic.twitter.com/JwPfeEvNmm
— Prasar Bharati News Services पी.बी.एन.एस. (@PBNS_India) May 23, 2021
In view of Cyclone Yaas, the Indian Railways has temporarily cancelled more than a dozen trails to Bhubaneshwar and Puri in Odisha.
— Southern Railway (@GMSRailway) May 22, 2021
In West Bengal, the other state set to be affected by the storm, the government said it has taken all precautionary measures to deal with Cyclone Yaas, and that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will stay at a control room set up for the purpose to monitor the situation.
Banerjee, who held a high-level meeting at the state secretariat on Sunday, said that relief materials were dispatched to vulnerable areas, while officials were directed for early evacuation of people from coastal and riverine areas, PTI reported.
“I have extensively reviewed the Disaster Management preparedness with regards to the impending Yaas cyclone today afternoon with all senior officers of relevant Central and State agencies along with DMs and SPs,” Banerjee tweeted.
“All officials have been advised integrated command, advance planning and early evacuation from coastal and riverine areas to rescue shelters including cyclone and flood shelters, and to conduct relief and rehabilitation operations at the earliest,” she added.
The state government has set a control room to monitor the situation at the state secretariat Nabanna, which will work round the clock. The phone numbers of the control room are 1070 and 033-22143526, Banerjee said.
All officials have been advised integrated command, advance planning & early evacuation from coastal & riverine areas to rescue shelters including cyclone & flood shelters, and to conduct relief and rehabilitation operations at the earliest.(2/3)
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 22, 2021
Besides the centralised control room, the state government has opened several smaller control rooms in coastal areas of the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for timely evacuation of those involved in off-shore activities as he chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of states and Central agencies to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone Yaas.
He asked officials to work in close coordination with states to ensure safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas, and to ensure that time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and restored swiftly, a PMO statement said.
Modi also asked officials to ensure proper coordination and planning with state governments to ensure that no disruption is caused to COVID-19 treatment and vaccination in hospitals.
He called for involving various stakeholders like coastal communities and industries and directly reaching out to them and sensitising them, the PMO said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is reviewing the situation and is in touch with the state governments, union territories and the central agencies concerned.
It has already released the first instalment of SDRF in advance to all states, and the National Disaster Response Force has pre-positioned 46 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments in five states and UT. In addition, 13 teams are being airlifted on Sunday for deployment and 10 teams have been kept on standby, the PMO noted.
Emphasised on timely evacuation as well as ensuring power and communications networks are not disrupted. Also emphasised on ensuring COVID-19 treatment of patients in affected areas does not suffer due to the cyclone.
Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2021
The PMO said the Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations, while the Indian Air Force and engineer task force units of the Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment.
Seven ships with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief units are on standby along the western coast.
The Indian Express reported that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday presided over a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC). The meeting was attended by the chief secretaries of West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry.
With inputs from PI
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.